Warning of ‘significant disruption’ as strike action to take place on railway network

Southeastern trains Photo John Horton

There will be ‘significant disruption’ across the Southeastern railway network as three days of strike action take place this month.

Rail union RMT  says more than 50,000 railway workers across the country will walkout as part of national strike action in the biggest dispute on the network since 1989.

The union will shut down the country’s railway network on 21st, 23rd and 25th June, saying it is due to the inability of rail employers to come to a negotiated settlement with RMT.

The RMT say Network Rail and train operating companies have subjected their staff to multiyear pay freezes and plan to cut thousands of jobs. Despite intense talks with the rail bosses, RMT says it has not been able to secure a pay proposal nor a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies.

Southeastern says: “We expect significant disruption across our whole network on these dates and on the dates in-between. We are sorry for the inconvenience this will cause.

“Following yesterday’s notification of action, we are working hard to understand what level of service we can run on these dates, and we will advise our customers as soon as possible. Our expectation is that we will only be able to operate a severely reduced service and we therefore advise customers that they do not travel and make alternative plans instead.

“Our website will have the most up-to-date information about what services will be available during industrial action. We will also keep passengers updated via our email alerts, Twitter, app, and at stations.

“Disruption will not be confined to the Southeastern network. This is a national dispute and the RMT has a mandate for industrial action across 14 train operators and Network Rail. Therefore, industrial action and disruption will impact train services across many parts of the country.”

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Railway workers have been treated appallingly and despite our best efforts in negotiations, the rail industry with the support of the government has failed to take their concerns seriously.

“We have a cost-of-living crisis, and it is unacceptable for railway workers to either lose their jobs or face another year of a pay freeze when inflation is at 11.1pc and rising.

“Our union will now embark on a sustained campaign of industrial action which will shut down the railway system.

“Rail companies are making at least £500m a year in profits, whilst fat cat rail bosses have been paid millions during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This unfairness is fuelling our members anger and their determination to win a fair settlement.

“RMT is open to meaningful negotiations with rail bosses and ministers, but they will need to come up with new proposals to prevent months of disruption on our railways.”


  1. more proof of the mess this countrys in , and the feeling amongst ” normal ” people, never mind boris and his victory – we will see.

  2. According to Totaljobs, the average salary for railway jobs in general is around £45,000 – with the average rising to around £61,089 in Birmingham. The Sun reports that train driver salaries can rise as high as £70,000 with some train operators such as Crosscountry Trains, South Western Railway and East Midlands Trains.

        • A train driver is responsible for the lives of upwards of 600 people at any one time, I wouldn’t trust Johnson to empty the rubbish bins after one of his parties, Oh! Wait he didn…….

          I know a Train Guard, who works the most anti-social hours of anyone, day and night, and he can’t get a mortgage although he has a substantial deposit saved up! Its back to the 70’s and 80’s when the Tories cut wages to public service workers by not increasing them to the rate of inflation! I know because I was one of them, as a government engineer building, and maintaining power stations!

          Inflation was upwards of 25%, and most staff who were not engineers were getting pay awards, but engineers not because of different unions. It came to a head when Foreman were getting the same salaries as an engineer! It was decided at a meeting in London by a show of hands, 1,700 for, and 6 against, to take industrial action the next day if we didn’t get a raise! We did, 33%, to bring us back to parity, and the lights stayed on! Good luck to the Railway workers, and lets hope they are re-nationalised!

    • I imagine The Sun are exaggerating the £70K train driver wage. If not the likelihood is that the sum could only be gained by considerable overtime.

      Very few workers will take strike action unless there’s a history of being disregarded, insulted and patronised by the employer.

      Withdrawing your labour is the only weapon an employee has in situation like this.

    • The National Careers Service has average train drivers on £24K (new starter) – £65K (experienced) for a 35-40 hour week, working evenings and bank hols.

    • Well PJ, I know someone who is a Train Guard/Manager, who is on £33,600 a year, or £2,800 gross a month, £1,900 nett! He is highly trained, and responsible for upwards of 600 passengers at any one time! He works odd shifts, day and night, and receives anti-social abuse as a matter of course! He told me after paying rent and other living costs, he is left with just £250.00 a week, not enough to service a mortgage though!

  3. And its because they have such a strong union representing them that their work terms and conditions are so good. The strike will be a nightmare but, having worked for employers who treat their employees appallingly, I can’t begrudge them standing up for workers’ rights.

  4. Not all rail travel is for work. Quote a lot if us use trains for leisure, especially over longer distances.
    And I don’t think train is more expensive than cab – I’m off to Portsmouth (first class) return for less than £60.
    But you’re right. There ‘s something very wrong when planes ( the most polluting) are much cheaper than trains ( the least polluting)

  5. It’s conspiracy to get us to buy electric cars and cause a distraction from the woes of Boris. The price of fuel the cost of food the cost of living is 100% down to the Conservatives. Boris new slogan is………….”Let’s get in a real mess done”

      • Peter I advised you to get help with your Pillockism some time ago, and it seems you ignored my advice! Do please get help, as you know its incurable in your case, but it can be managed with professional help!

  6. Good morning Peter, my daughter is in the USA at the moment but I have told her you are writing a book on sarcasm.

    • Not jealous at all, just curious how you managed to arrange a book launch at Waterstones before you’ve even published your first book. Do let us all know the title when it is available, as I can guarantee you I’ll be front of the queue to purchase my signed copy. I’ll probably even learn a thing or two from it.

  7. Peter I arranged nothing my agent Sue Smith does all that, as and when needed. Certain book shops actually pay agents like Sue to use their shops for book events such as (book signings / launch) I’m sure you know that already. That’s what agents do.

  8. It is up to management of the rail companies to ensure on June 20 , 22 and 24 their workforces ( including RMT members) leave trains in the right places and everything set up so that normal working on the day after these one-day stoppages. Otherwise the strikers will turn up for work and look to be paid even though there might be disruption of services. Management need to circumvent the effort of causing chaos on non-strike days

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